Good Question: Why have Gas Prices Jumped in the Last Month?

The temperatures are noticeably higher but the mercury isn't the only thing on the rise. Pain at the pump is a growing concern especially with the holiday weekend approaching.

It's a warranted concern because gas in the Midwest is currently much higher than the national average. Curtis DeHarty from Sioux City wanted to know,"Why have gas prices gone up 75 cents in the last month?"

We've got the answer.

Nothing says Memorial Day like a road trip to kick off the summer. But rising gas prices could hinder those plans.

"Typically when people plan travel for holidays they plan it months in advance. So I don't necessarily think it will impact how people will travel or whether they'll go or not I do believe it will impact their budget while they travel," says Gail Weinholzer, AAA Director of Public Affairs.

On average you can find super unleaded for 3.59 a gallon across South Dakota - that's up 15 cents from just last month. But in North Sioux City it'll cost you 3.94. That means a 12 gallon tank of gas will cost you $6.00 more than what it would have last month.

It's not any better in Nebraska or Iowa. The average price for super unleaded in Nebraska is 3.70 and in Iowa, 3.69. But when we checked out gas stations in Sioux city and South Sioux City, the prices were much higher than the average.

It's normal to see gas prices jump a little bit this time of year because local refineries close for scheduled maintenance.

"In the past its been rather standard that they close for a few days or a week to do this maintenance. In this case however there are two of the largest refineries in the Chicago-land area that supply much of the upper Midwest have closed for an extended period of time," says Weinholzer.

One closed in mid-April, one closed this last week and refineries are not required to disclose why. That means the gas is being shipped to the Midwest from further away, kicking the prices up for consumers and slowing down delivery for gas stations.

"Usually it takes about 1-2 days to get here, and now it's a week," says Matthew Brewster, a clerk at Dunes General in Dakota Dunes.

Triple A says the refineries will most likely re-open between Memorial Day and the fourth of July.

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